Mike is now guiding for Smith Rock Climbing Guides. Take a look at their site: www.smithrockclimbingguides.com
Got a question about a local route? Just E-mail Mike.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005 8:39 AM
Beerdrinkers & Hellraisers
Just FYI for you guys who might be interested. Brad and I put up a new route on the Jughandle North Face last Sunday. Beerdrinkers & Hellraisers climbs a steep line inbetween "Wall of the Oceanman" and "Dreamcatcher". It turned out to be a much needed 5.12 climb on the wall. Pitch one 5.12, (3 bolts + nuts and cams), climbs a steep face to a lay back flake and a run out face. Pitch two 5.11c, ( 4 bolts and small nuts to mid cams), follows a thin face into a fun thin corner. Pitch three 5.10a, ( mid to hand sized cams), is a hand sized crack.
I also up-dated Dreamcatcher with new bolted belays.
Monday, November 15, 2004 9:10 AM
The Torture Chamber
a bit of info on the revival of the Torture Chamber. This is a climbing destination in Leslie Gulch that I have developed in 1998. The nature of the climbing is short, some routes would be high ball boulder problems and the holds are not manufactured. After 1998 this area became dormant due to the difficulty of the climbs and the lack of climbers at that level.
This season has seen quite a bit of activity out there and most all of the climbs have been repeated (mainly by the 13 year old Matt Fultz). I found this to be reason enough to post a topo of the climbs on the web site to encourage others to come out there and try the routes.
The only word of caution is, that much like table rock, one should stay away from climbing out there after a lot of rain. The rock becomes weak and holds can break.
Go to the Leslie Gulch section of the "Other Areas" page to see the Torture Chamber topo.
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 8:21 AM
I am turning buffalo rock into a little destination spot. Lots of little routes and link ups.
buffalo crack 11d/12a, buffalo soldier 12b, ride the buffalo 12+, body by beefalo 13-, buffalo arete 11+, beefalo arete 11+, slab 5.9 and a couple more I am working on.
Unfortunately this rock is on private land. Please be respectful of the landowner's rights.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004 9:34 AM
Brad and I finished my crack climb in Leslie Gulch (windy tower) from 1998. The second pitch is 5.9 up to a 3 feet wide summit. We hand drilled two anchor bolts for a 100 foot rappel back down.
1st pitch 11a, 2nd pitch 5.9. Can be done in one pitch it just turned out this way.
Monday, September 20, 2004 8:10 AM
Free Kings Highway
Doug and I free climbed the Kings Highway on the Perch on September 17th.
After 2 easy pitches pitch 3 (5.9 A2) turned into a 55 meter crack starting out with some 5.11 lay backing into a 5.10 section and turning into in overhanging 5.12 off size finger crack, very strenuous. Pitch 4 (5.9 A3) free climbs the arch at 5.11 (pro is not so good one solid #1 TCU) until you reach the 3 old bolts that used to be the pendulum bolts into the Seagull. From the last bolt climb straight up the features until you are able to place a knife blade from a good handhold. Traverse into the Seagull on small edges, (5.12). Pitch 5 (A1) climbs the ramp into the overhanging crack up and left. Powerful underling moves around the corner to the left onto a small ledge protected by solid gear, 5.12.
After this pitch we rapelled back down. The weather turned bad and the upper 4 pitches did not really interest me anymore.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 9:50 AM
Some info on the routes in Scary Canyon:
My route Crash Test is fully bolted now and climbs directly over the large roof (Bird Shit Man). It will settle in between 12+ or 13a. Bird Shit Man is a nice alternative now sine the roof will be protected with 2 bolts.
I will also add a bolt to the start of Mind Killer to eliminate the stick clip, or bad cam placement and Blue Monday will receive 3 bolts.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 1:10 PM
Click here for a new topo of Jughandle Mountain (big file)
August 31, 2004 1:10 PM
see photo & topo: mike looking up the crux pitch, seagull topo
Brad and I free climbed the Seagull over the weekend of August 28-29. I on-sighted all pitches but the A3 crux pitch. We also added a direct start to the Seagull starting at the very base of the large corner system instead of traversing in from the right. The A3 pitch (actually my first aid lead) goes free at 5.13+. Due to the protection situation I was only able to free it on top rope since the crux section, top of the pitch, doesn't take any real pro. The Seagull is now: new start 5.10- / 5.9+ / 5.11a // 5.11c / 5.13+ / 5.12a / 5.10 / 5.10 / 5.9 / 5.9. The Seagull is a great free line now and just waits for a hard man/woman who is able to lay back on 5mm sloping edges without any real foot support up the overhanging corner and run it out from the smallest Astro nut to the anchor.
Sent : Monday, August 23, 2004 9:45 AM
I put in a new climb on Jughandle yesterday togehter with Adam after starting the first pitch in July. "Brave like a Girl" is climbing the face left of the Wall of the Oceanman to a ledge under the great yellow overhanging wall. Pitch 2 climbs the yellow overhang at 120 feet and 40 feet overhanging to the 3 belay of the Oceanman. Pitch 3 is identical with the Oceanmans 4th pitch. The last pitch is bypassing the origional gully pitch on the right using the arete.
pitch 1: 5.11c 4 bolts and small to mid cams.
pitch 2: 5.13a bolts some small cams.
pitch 3: 5.11 one pin and small cams.
pitch 4: 5.10 one bolt one pin.
July 12, 2004 8:11 AM
God Damn 5.12/5.13
I climbed a new line on the Dark Side. It climbs the bottom of
Physical Graffiti until the roof. Climb right via a new bolt into God. Climb the remainder of God and climb the new direct finish via another new bolt. The new line is called
God Damn and is 5.12/5.13. The direct finish also offers a much better finish to God.
Thursday, June 10, 2004 8:33 AM
Here is a topo of the Easter Island as of yesterdayís developments. There are 2 more lines I will develop in the near future. Please note that the correct rating for 318I is 5.12c/d not 5.13a. Also of note is that 13 year old Matt Fults has red pointed 318I. Adam Chitwood climbed the most demanding trad lead on the Easter Island (sorry, I canít remember the name, in the Topo itís Adams route 5.11b).
Monday, June 21, 2004 9:11 AM
on the North Face of Jug Handle Mountain
I was up on Jughandle on Saturday together with Adam and Brad. We had a true alpine approach with lots of snow. My coal was to finish the "Renegade" and we almost turned around after the first pitch as a hail storm soaked us the ropes and the rock. After the sun came back out and dried to rock for most part we climbed on and finished the route.
1 st pitch starts just left of the prominent gully at a one bolt belay. ( We had to start there because of the amount of snow). Climb the buttress to the ledge using some TCU'S and 2 bolts for protection. Stay right of the wide crack for the best climbing. Belay at the ledge with one bolt and one piton. 5.10c.
The second pitch is the "money pitch" . Climb the
double overhang to a ledge. Start out easy up to the large overhang, split by a crack. Place some pro and clip a bolt before you engage into two bad jams and do a full body dyno to a hold at the lip of the overhang. Clip a piton
and muscle yourself up into easier ground. Climb the face to the next overhang. The second overhang goes at 5.12b, 1 bolt and 2 pitons.
Pitch 3 starts out easy, straight up from the belay until you see a bolt in a vertical slab. Clip this bolt and climb a short 5.10a section to the anchor. Be carefull not to fall at the 10a or you will hit the ledge. From the third pitch is is 4th class climbing to the top.
May 11, 2004 9:58 AM
I am bolting the climbs on the Easter Island. The climbs will be mixed with gear and bolts. I also climbed a new line right of R.C crack. It is called 318I, 4 bolts protect a roof and a overhanging arÍte. The difficulties are about 5.12c/d. I also installed an anchor for the other climbs.
April 5, 2004
Monkey Juice is a new line that I have climbed on April 5. Since there is not much room for new difficult independent lines at the cliffs I borrowed rock from my old routes Drunken Sailor and Steel Monkey. As it turned out with the addition of 2 new bolts and a cam at the starting crack this new line will be one of my favorites at the cliffs. Start just left of the Drunken Sailor in a crack ( use cams) climb the short crack up to a ledge and clip the first bolt. From here the fun starts and some impossible looking sections are defeated by a sideways jump using 2 small crimpers into a sidpull. For the part the feet are only heel hooking at the traverse, since the wall is too steep and smooth to offer any foot support. After the short traverse you will join the top of Steel Monkey for some more fun.
5.11d, Far Side
This is an old line I installed in 1996 but it turned out to be a somewhat popular climb at this side of the Cliffs. Easy climbing leads to a small roof like feature which needs to be tackled on small edges. The last bolt before the ramp is a difficult clip right from the crux holds. Once you gained the smooth ramp the climbing is fun and easy to the anchors. The entire climb is bolted.
Sean Wolff on" Greetings from Brownie" 5.11d
Tuesday, March 30, 2004 7:16 AM
I was at the mid cliffs yesterday and climbed a couple of projects. First I climbed your Rainbow Warrior direct, about 5.12b/c. Next I climbed my project that I bolted last year next to Mean Chunk of Candy. I did not take the direct line, which is still up to be done at V10 or so. Instead I followed the undercling feature a bit to the left to a big hold and climbed back right on nice pockets to the top. All bolts are good in line and easy clips. It is somewhere 5.12 and A Mean Chunk of Candy Ass would fit fine for a name.
March 28, 2004 7:15 AM
Power Ranger Sit Start
at the age of sit down starts you can do interesting things out there. Last week I climbed a sit down start to my old route Power Ranger up on Table rock. Start on 2 small crimpers, sitting down, directly below the start of Crank Cream. Throw to a sloper and climb the drilled pockets until you can traverse into Power Ranger. This adds 8 moves to Power Ranger and maybe is 5.12+. Needles to say the same sit start will work for Crank Cream.
I will send you some pictures soon.
March 2, 2004 9:02 AM
Sean and I installed a new line in-between blue Monday and Mind Killer yesterday. Starting out, with a quite difficult, boulder start (bolt) passing very difficult moves along the thin seam (piton) and climbing directly into the large roof of Bird shit man. I installed one bolt and one piton but was only able to TR the line due to the lack of protection. I am not sure if I will bolt the entire line or try to lead it on the minimal gear placements available. The name is "Crash Test" climbing it on TR is minimum 5.12+. Climbing it on lead will be a different story (to be continued). Either way the route is one of the most difficult outings on that side of the black cliffs.
February 10, 2004 10:19 AM
Sean and I climbed a new route at Scary Canyon on Monday Feb. 9th. I named it "Blue Monday" and it tackles the unclimbed zone between Flight 1713 and Mind Killer.
Start on the blank looking roof (piton) and climb to a small roof just below the main roof. This section takes small stoppers and one #4 and #2 TCU. A difficult move past the small roof leads to a left traverse in the main roof section (like Odyssey. Climb over the roof next to flight 1713 and join it at the last 2 bolts to the top.
It is a long and demanding pitch that is protected pretty good. The climbing is very fun and sustained. As for the rating, I am not sure, 5.11+ or 5.12 something. Some of the gear needs to be placed form strenuous positions. 2 pitons are left in the route.
Tuesday August 26, 2003
The Ocean Man (5.13b) on the North Face of Jug Handle Mountain near McCall
here are the pictures from the wall of the ocean man 5.13b. 5 pitches. 5.13b (the roof), 5.12a (the ocean), 5.12a (the prow), 5.11b (the sword), 5.9.
the idea started in 2002. I climbed up to the roof but did not go on due to the lack of protection.
August 10.03. Mike Teschner and I finished the first pitch and I climbed it at 5.13b. A 5.11+ start protected with 3 knife blades leads to a crux roof, one bolt and a 5.13 crux. After the roof one piton protects a run out thin 5.11 face to the anchor.
August 16.03. Mike Teschner and I climb the second pitch. I spent 5 hours leading the pitch ground up. Using no hooks, placing protection in the blank wall only when I was able to place a small knife blade in micro seems, drill a bolt and remove the knife blade. This pitch is outstanding, a thin face at solid 5.11 to a steep section with pockets. Traverse left at 5.11+ to a smooth dihedral. Climb the dihedral (5.11) at the end and left to the belay. This pitch has 4 bolts and 2 pitons. 5.11+ needs to be climbed between protection.
The third bitch left me retreating after 30 feet, the rock was too loose and the climbing to unpleasant. The line went straight up from the belay just right of a huge roof. I repelled of a fixed piton.
August 17.03. Mike Teschner and I climbed the first 2 pitches. I started out on the third pitch climbed the twin cracks and when I hit the dirty section I hand drilled a bolt out left in a totally blank looking face 3 feet above the gigantic roof. The traverse across the face is very scary at 5.12a, a fall from the crux is not a good idea. I reached a rounded crack und climbed it to a hand traverse leading out to a super exposed belay. One hand drilled bolt and a knife blade + some pro for an anchor.
Pitch 4 follows the very steep razor sharp arÍte at 5.11b until a fixed knife blade marks a right traverse to the top of the pillar. These two pitches are outstanding, super exposed. Pitch 5 is the last pitch of the North East Face.
We drilled 9 bolts ( 3 of them at anchors), without using hooks and placed 7 pitons in the route. The route is very steep and committing at parts. Solid climbing of the grades is required for all pitches.
Tuesday June 3, 2003
Table Rock Area
Location: Park at the Warm Springs area gravel parking lot close to the golfing area. Walk up the hill using a trail close to a fence until you can join with a larger trial leading up to the area of Warm Springs Mesa and the Table Rock trails . Follow the trial until a small trail leads left and you walk directly past a big boulder sitting next to the trail. From here leave the trail and walk straight up the hill towards a huge leaning boulder. The "Boulder with a View" and the "Warm up Boulder" are located 40 feet to the right. The boulders offer a handful of good problems, the rock is great and some problems are long with top outs demanding crash pads and a spotter. The boulders are in a beautiful location and you can enjoy a view across the valley and the Table Rock area.
At the "Boulder with a View", a former local climber drilled two holds into this boulder without succeeding on the climbs. I went ahead and closed the manufactured holds. The boulder offers 4 climbs starting on the left side of the boulder, sitting down using a 3 finger pocket to start. The boulders right side offers 3 climbs that share the same start.
Problem#1, "Beer Belly", (left side), sit start at the pocket and climb up and left using pockets and edges, V1.
Problem#2, "Reinheitsgebot"(left side), sit start at the pocket and climb out the very steep prow, always traversing right until you hit a big horn. From the big horn climb straight up on positive holds and climb up the thin finger crack. Finish up following the small crack high of the ground. V7/8??, 15 moves and a tall top out.
Problem#3, "Franziskaner",sit start at the pocket hit the sloper with your right hand and climb straight up the steep arÍte until you reach the big white flake, top out. V7??, 12 moves the landing situation is not so good.
Problem#4, "Andechser Doppelbock". Start as far as possible on the right side of the boulder. Traverse the steep lip until you hit the big horn. Keep traversing until you can finish up on Problem #3. V8/9?? and 17 moves, the landing for the finishing moves is not so good.
Problem#5, "Paulaner",start on the right side of the boulder as far right as possible. Traverse the steep lip to the right until you hit the big horn. Top out on the thin finger crack of problem #2. V5/6??, 13 moves.
Problem#6, "Hefeweizen". Start on the right side of the bolder. Left hand on an undercling right hand on the lip. Climb up the powerful bulge and exit out the crack system. V4.
Problem#7, "Zipfer Urtyp". This is a combination of problem #2 and #6. It is the longest climb on the boulder with more than 20 moves on very steep rock. V9??
Just the left of the "Boulder with a View" is a good warm up boulder. All problems follow lines of pockets and buckets up an overhanging face and do not exceed V2. Be sure to have a spot and crash pads on hand.
(ratings are suggestions, the climbs have not been repeated)
Do you want to go climbing with your kids but you don't know where to go??
This is difficult around Boise since there are not too many
areas that allow for climbing and safe playing for your kids. My kids are 5 and
1,5 so I have to cater to two different age groups. My daughter (5 years) will
go out and climb with me but my son can not be left alone on the ground. The
solution is bouldering. Now, we all would like to climb with a rope but
bouldering offers a great solution for some fun for the entire family. The Boise
area offers 3 different bouldering locations to bring your kids along.
1. The Peach Boulder and the Reynolds creek boulders. The areas around the rock is flat and your kids can play while you climb. The peach boulder is surrounded by sand. Bring a bucket and shovel for the kids and they play happily for a couple of hours. Mind the dirt road bikers driving by on weekend days.
2. Swan Falls bouldering area. This is a perfect playground for kids. Hundreds of boulders of all sizes and flat all the way around. You can pack up your bouldering gear and kids and within 45 minutes to 1 hour you are at this beautiful location along the snake river. The climbing here is fantastic until the temperatures climb into the upper 80's.
3. Table Rock, it is close to town and has some bouldering around flat areas. Unfortunately small children will love to play with some of the thousands of class pieces on the ground. These are the remains of beer bottles let behind by some not so gifted parts of our society that visit the table Rock area.
4. If your kids can play by themselves while you are climbing the one pitch climbs at the "Einstein" at Leslie Gulch are perfect. The area is right in the sun (mid summers are too hot), and the area is flat with lots of sand. Climbing here starts at difficult levels but as we know we don't have the luxury of a lot of choices.
Other areas around the greater Boise area do not provide a good environment for kids. Hells Canyon offers some great climbing and camping but it is lined with poison ivy and rattle snakes. Burnt River Canyon offers good limestone climbing but also big step hills under each climb leaving your kid sitting in the same spot and bored within 5 minutes. The upper walls ( The Projects) in Riggins are O.K and will work for dedicated climbers.
When climbing with kids be responsible and cater to their needs. Clear dangerous objects away ( glass etc..) and make sure there are no reptiles (snakes) within the kids walking radius.
is approaching where to go and climb?
Your best bet around Boise will be the "Road Side Rock" up by Mores Mountain/ Bogus Basin. Sandy, Dan Smith and other climbers have put up some very fun climbs at this high altitude location only 30 minutes from down town Boise. Most of the climbs require more technique than strength and some are 2 pitches in length. The biggest plus about this climbing destination is it's mountain setting and the significant drop in temperature. If you are looking for a challenging climb up there go and climb Sandy's "The Long and Winding Road", 5.11c or the "Junkie Cosmonaut", 5.12c. On the way up to the Mores Mountain area you will pass the "Buffalo Boulder". This very small granite formation was once bolted and someone robbed it of it's hangers. There are 3 interesting climbs on the very steep side facing Boise. The left arÍte is missing bolt hangers but can be top roped. It climbs up some dirty rock to finish up on some fun overhanging patina flakes, 5.11. From the same top rope you can climb the overhanging crack that runs up the 35 foot wall. If you follow the crack all the way to the top it is a 5.12+ climb that is becoming more difficult with every move. Starting on the same crack but half way up traversing out right following the obvious hand traverse it's 5.11+.
The Buffalo Boulder would be a poor choice for a climbing outing by itself but if you are up on Bogus Basin it is O.K to stop by the rock. Try it on foggy winter days when Boise lies in fog and cold temperatures. The "Buffalo Boulder" sometimes lies above the fog and cold in the blue winter sky with the sun directly on you.
If you are more into longer alpine routes try to go up to McCall's "Jug Handle Mountain". The north/east face offers climbing on good granite, 4 pitches in length and an alpine setting that can be reached within 1.5 hours from your car. Jeff Smith and I put up a handful of multi pitch climbs up there last summer ranging from 5.10a to 5.13a. Contact me for more information on the climbs since we only left a couple of fixed pines behind route finding is difficult. There is also the potential for bouldering on bullet proof, clean granite.
Location: Reynolds Creek area close to Murphy Idaho.
The Peach Boulder is the only interesting climbing feature in this side canyon on the way to the Granite bouldering of Reynolds Creek. The boulder is located in the second canyon to your right as you drive past the last ranch towards the top of Reynolds creek road. After a 2 minute walk you will run into the boulder. The rock is the typical Owyhee type volcanic rock but for the most part very solid. The boulder is sitting in a bed of sand and the landing zones are perfect with the exception of the back side of the boulder. As you walk up to the boulder the front side greets you with the classic "Peaches" V7/8 problem. A sit start leads to small edges and slopers with the crux near the top. Just to the left, starting underneath a roof, the "Shelf" V5 climbs straight up past a painful mono pocket. This problem does not use the rotten rock out left. If you start on the "Shelf" and climb up and right into the last hard moves of "Peaches" ,via some pockets and edges, you can climb a fun link up at V6 or so. Turning your attention to the left side of the boulder you will see a big pocket close to the ground. Sit start on the pocket and climb left using a left hand pocket and a right hand edge to finish up on one of the two warm up problems. You will have fun with the "Peachonator" V5. Now, if this is not pumping for you! Start to the right on a low bucket and traverse a slanting, sloping ramp feature until you hit the same pocket (V6) and keep on going. The two warm up problems start on the back side of the boulder. It is the tallest part of the boulder and the best rock. Sit start at the small yellow corner with your left hand in a nice pocket. If you climb straight up the gently overhanging wall you've done "It's a Peach" V2 or 3, not sure. If you turn right after the same start and follow the line of buckets and lay backs to the top you have climbed the "Warm Up" V1. If you like to test your endurance start on "It's a Peach" and traverse to the left following a line of pockets and edges until you hit a band of deep pocket. Pull straight up the arÍte or keep traversing around the corner and finish in the cave. This problem is called "Slot traverse". Since it is long I gave it a climbing grade 5.12. Be careful of the rock wall very close to your back when you climb this problem. Make sure you have a spotter and crash pads. The slab above the "Slot traverse" is a fun but scary V4. Lots of crash pads and a good spotter will take care of rocks lurking from below. The cave has one cool problem "Mastermind" V7. Sit start on a big pocket, match on the big sloper and crimp up until you hit the lip. Mastermind climbs the central feature, if you move out and left you are doing a less difficult route. "Mastermind" is the start to several long traverses. The first one starts on "Mastermind" climbs left to reverse the "Slot Traverse" and finishes up on "It's a Peach". A lot of moves (45) and somewhere around 5.13-. If you feel strong! Climb the "Mastermind Traverse" and keep on reversing all the problems until you can finish up on the "Shelf". This problem adds up to 60 moves and is the "Mastermind Extension", a solid 5.13. Now, if your forearms are not tired after this, keep on going until you can finish up on the "Peaches" problem. After 70 moves you have climbed "Super Mastermind" at 5.14-.
just a note on some new climbs:
1. Shelf Traverse 5.13b. Start on The Shelf and traverse left until you finish on the Mastermind top out.
2. Rotten Peaches V6. Sit start just right of peaches. Slap up the overhand, lock off to a sloper, match and reach the dirty top ledge, end.
Bouldering, who is up for some Traverses???
1. Stoger's traverse.
Location: table rock
First Ascent: ms 1994
Best to climb: winter: afternoon sun, summer: morning shade.
Difficulty: V7 or 5.12d/13a at 60 feet of climbing.
What to expect: start left at crack climb past small edges to a crack (rest if desired), keep traversing past Big Times, (due to a manufactured foot hold at the Big Times crux the climb dropped in difficulty).
Fall Potential: There is the potential to fall on to the large boulder directly behind you when traversing the first (crux) section, (spot!!!).
2. Iron Man.
Location: Black Cliffs, right of Scary Canyon
First Ascent: ms 1994
Best to climb: winter: late morning-early afternoon. Summer: early morning- late afternoon. Difficulty: V5 or 5.12c at 200 feet of climbing.
What to expect: start from left to right balancing around corners and tricky section up to a powerful steep finish.
Fall Potential: Very scary falls almost throughout the entire traverse. The crux section offers good flat ground.
3. Power Trip
Location: Swan Falls / back side of the burnt
First Ascent: ms 1998 Best to climb: when it's cold.
Difficulty: V9 ? or 5.13b at 60 feet of climbing.
What to expect: start on the left side of the overhang sitting down. Traverse the sloping lip of the boulder all the way to the right corner und climb to the top of the boulder.
Fall Potential: Good at first, a bit scary at the finish.